DLF, a major realty developer in India, is close to completing its second commercial project in Chennai, called ‘DLF Downtown’. The project is aimed at catering to clients in the information technology (IT) and information technology-enabled services (ITeS), banking, financial services and insurance sectors (BFSI). The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year, according to DLF Rental business managing director Sriram Khattar.

Khattar added that the company is also planning to construct a residential project adjacent to the Madras Race Course in Guindy on a six-acre land and another residential project on Old Mahabalipuram Road. DLF Cybercity Chennai, the first project undertaken by the company in Chennai, celebrated 15 years of operation at Manapakkam in the city. On the occasion, a recreational and social venue called ‘The Hub’ spread across five lakh sq ft land was unveiled.

Khattar informed select reporters that DLF Downtown in Taramani, which has an outlay of Rs 3,200 crore, is expected to commence operations before the end of this year. Phase I is expected to commence operations by the end of next year. With the completion of the project, DLF real estate company will become the second-largest realty developer after DLF in Delhi and the National Capital Region, offering more than 14 million sq ft of workspace.

Khattar also addressed the recent layoffs in the IT industry and the occupancy levels at DLF special economic zones, saying that employee layoffs were just a temporary phase and that most IT companies were reporting good growth in their financial performance. He added that the occupancy levels at DLF Cybercity Chennai were at 85-90%, whereas in Gurgaon, it was at 65%.

DLF (Delhi Land & Finance) Retail business executive director Pushpa Bector stated that customer-specific localization levels were introduced at the special economic zones to bring back employees to work. For example, the food court offers four different kinds of biryanis, which is one of the localisations offered to employees. Bector added that a wellness center comprising a gymnasium, among other amenities, was also introduced later in its commercial projects to meet clients’ demands.

Khattar also revealed that the company would not be focusing on foraying into Tier-II and Tier-III cities, as their board has decided to focus on Tier-I cities. He added that nearly 60-70% of the project would be met with internal accruals, and the debt has remained around Rs 1,200 crore during the last four years.

In conclusion, Khattar said that with DLF Downtown in Taramani, the company was thrilled to offer another futuristic project that aligns with their vision of building pioneer, sustainable and best-of-the-class workplaces.